From(L-R) Turkey’s Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, State Minister Zafer Caglayan, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Labour Minister Omer Dincer attend a news conference in Ankara October 11, 2010. Babacan said the government would adhere to fiscal discipline and would not overspend ahead of general elections in mid-2011. REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Freshman Busra Gungor won’t have to wear a wig to cover her Islamic headscarf, as many pious relatives and friends did to avoid getting kicked off campus.
Women look at a pigeon in front of the fountain in Istanbul August 9, 2007. In a landmark decision, Turkey’s Higher Education Board earlier this month ordered Istanbul University, one of the country’s biggest, to stop teachers from expelling from classrooms female students who do not comply with a ban on the headscarf.? Read more »REUTERS/Osman Orsal/Files
From(L-R) Turkey’s Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, State Minister Zafer Caglayan, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Labour Minister Omer Dincer attend a news conference in Ankara October 11, 2010. Babacan said the government would adhere to fiscal discipline and would not overspend ahead of general elections in mid-2011. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY – Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
The ?Kemalist? wing in the Republican People?s Party (CHP) has opposed yet another step that could relieve tension in Turkey. While speaking on behalf of his party, CHP Deputy Muharrem İnce not only made an appeal for tension but undersigned a major mistake as well. İnce opposed the prospect of holding one reception on Oct. 29 with the first lady present and asked, ?Why will there only be one reception instead of two?? Because Turkey is normalizing.
The Republican People?s Party (CHP), which had recently vowed to solve Turkey?s long-standing headscarf problem, once again dashed hopes when CHP member Muharrem İnce revealed his party?s intention to boycott the Oct. 29 Republic Day reception at the Çankaya presidential palace.
There are problems at every stage of Turkey?s electoral process. As I highlighted in my most recent post, parliament?s 550 seats are badly misallocated among the country?s 81 provinces. Next, the processes used to translate individual votes into seats for parties are deeply skewed. The 10 per cent threshold that parties need to clear before they can enter parliament deservedly gets the most attention, but it?s not the only issue here. Once the threshold has been passed, the d?Hondt method is used to distribute seats among the remaining parties. Of the many variants of proportional representation, d?Hondt is the least proportional, systematically favouring larger parties.*
While the ?headscarf problem? is being solved in practice at universities, which will now allow them in classes, no such ?opening? has occurred in politics where separate dual receptions have been the norm, one inviting politicians and uncovered wives, and one to which politicians could bring their covered wives, including the wives of the president and prime minister. Sniffing a change in the air, President Gül hosted only one party this year. With predictable consequences.
The political profile reflecting the ?Milli Görüş? or ?National View? movement, as represented by the National Order Party (MNP), the National Salvation Party (MSP), the Welfare Party (RP), the Virtue Party (FP) and finally the Felicity Party (SP), is most likely on the verge of giving birth to a second pro-freedom conservative democratic movement.
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey has to re-interpret its principles of secularism to adapt to a changing society, an AK Party member in charge of drafting a new constitution said, joining a growing debate over the Muslim country’s identity.
The headscarf and Kurdish problems never change. These problems are still a ?protected island? in the middle of the sea of change Turkey is currently in. And politics are eternally being conducted from this island in our country.
Doubtlessly, there are hidden meanings behind the stepping down of seven members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). At a critical stage, the body is devoid of a proper board and more or less defunct — at least until the elections due in the coming weeks.
Since 1978, when the Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) launched its war, the organization has declared two goals: to transform Kurdish society from a clan society into a modern one, and to establish a nation state in the predominantly Kurdish-populated territories in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
It would be fair to say that a growing number of Turks seek a more democratic Turkey as indicated by the Sept. 12 referendum results in which 58 per cent of the voters said ?yes? to comprehensive amendments to the military-dictated 1982 Constitution. However, this does not mean that the entire 42 percent who voted against the amendments are necessarily against democratization. Bearing in mind the deep polarization in the country between secularists and those against the strict (and most of the time militarist) definition of secularism, some of those voting against the package, I suppose, have fallen victim to deep indoctrination by the establishment.